Madagascar reports its first Covid-19 death

Madagascar announced Sunday the first death of a patient suffering from the new coronavirus, almost two months after its first detection in the country.

The 57-year-old hospital worker died on Saturday and suffered from underlying diabetes and high blood pressure before being infected, said an anti-coronavirus team official.

“It is with great sadness that we must share with all our compatriots that there is an individual, aged 57, who died of Covid-19,” said Professor Hanta Vololontiana on public television.

He was a parking attendant at a hospital in the eastern town of Toamasina.

The Indian Ocean island, which has reported 304 cases, has hit the headlines about a concoction of homemade herbs that President Andry Rajoelina says can cure people infected with the virus.

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Several African countries have ordered or expressed interest in the alleged remedy, known as Covid-Organics.

The tonic drink is derived from sagebrush – a plant with proven efficacy in the treatment of malaria – and other indigenous herbs.

But the World Health Organization warned against “adopting a product that has not been tested to see its effectiveness”.